non·​re·​new·​able | \ˌnän-ri-ˈnü-ə-bəl, -ˈnyü-\

Definition of nonrenewable 

: not able to be renewed : not renewable a nonrenewable service contract especially : unable to be replaced or replenished once used … most of the natural resources that we exploit for energy and minerals are nonrenewable. Once they have been used up, they cannot be replenished—at least in our lifetime. — Sheldon Judson and Marvin E. Kauffman A nonrenewable resource is a resource that cannot be replaced after it is used. Minerals and many fuels are nonrenewable resources. — Dr. Timothy Cooney et al. Physical and economic shortages of nonrenewable resources require research programs aimed at developing renewable replacement resources. Predicasts Technology Update Lubbock is the principal city of the semi-arid southern High Plains of Texas, where the extensive, nonrenewable Ogallala aquifer is the major water resource. AAG Abstracts

Examples of nonrenewable in a Sentence

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To lower the stakes of confirmation battles, Faris favors eliminating lifetime tenure for judges and adopting the nonpartisan group Fix The Court’s plan of nonrenewable 18-year term limits. Dylan Matthews, Vox, "Court-packing, Democrats’ nuclear option for the Supreme Court, explained," 2 July 2018 What's more, the manufacturing process of most chemical fertilizers depends on nonrenewable resources, such as coal and natural gas. The Editors Of Organic Life, Good Housekeeping, "Everything You Need To Know About Organic Fertilizer," 10 Mar. 2017 Every step of plastic use, from production to disposal, requires large amounts of nonrenewable energy. Austen Erblat,, "Loxahatchee Sierra Club’s conservation chairman gives 5 tips to reduce environmental impact," 13 Apr. 2018 Businesses have moved away from polystyrene, which is made from nonrenewable petroleum, in recent years, but schools have been slower to do so., "Philly schools ditch Styrofoam trays, embrace a greener lunch option," 13 Feb. 2018 Cromwell and others say the costs of solar energy already have dropped so dramatically over the last decade that the industry can survive, especially because electric rates from nonrenewable sources continue to rise. Matt Campbell, kansascity, "Tariff on solar panels will not kill the industry, locals say | The Kansas City Star," 24 Jan. 2018 As a result, the Healthy Living Home Guide is kind of a twofer, offering quick consumer advice that can both improve indoor air quality and help save nonrenewable resources outside the home. Erin Blakemore, Washington Post, "Health risks may lurk in your home, environmental group says," 4 Nov. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'nonrenewable.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of nonrenewable

1903, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of nonrenewable was in 1903

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More Definitions for nonrenewable


non·​re·​new·​able | \ˌnän-ri-ˈnü-ə-bəl, -ˈnyü-\

Kids Definition of nonrenewable

: not restored or replaced by natural processes in a short period of time Petroleum is a nonrenewable resource.

Comments on nonrenewable

What made you want to look up nonrenewable? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


living or existing for a long time

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